"Individual honors are nice," Wright said, "but the awards can't take away from the void we all felt after last season. We have a lot of unfinished business next year."
Beltran put it this way: "Leaving the clubhouse that last Sunday was just an awful feeling. We had it and everything just slipped through our hands. None of us ever want to experience that again."
The Silver Slugger Award recognizes the most outstanding offensive player at each position as determined by voting of coaches and managers in each league. Selections are based on statistics including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value. Managers and coaches were prohibited from voting for players on their own teams.
Beltran, who has produced 220 runs, 228 RBIs, 74 home runs and a .558 slugging percentage in his two Silver Slugger seasons, led the Mets in RBIs (112) and home runs (33) for the second straight year in 2007. He was fourth in RBIs and tied for third in home runs among NL outfielders. His .276 batting average, .525 slugging percentage and .353 on-base average ranked 15th, seventh and 12th respectively among the league's outfielders.
Wright led the Mets in batting average (.325), slugging percentage (.546) on-base percentage (.416) and total bases (a club record 330). He ranked second to Beltran in home runs (30) and RBIs (107), and he placed second to Jose Reyes in runs (113, compared with Reyes' 119).
Wright's batting average and on-base percentage were second to those of the Braves' Chipper Jones (.337 and .425) among NL third basemen. Four third basemen had higher slugging percentages, including Jones, who had the highest at .604. Wright's home run total was third next to the 34 hit by the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera and Brewers rookie Ryan Braun, and his RBIs were third behind Cabrera's 119 and the Rockies' Garrett Atkins' 111.
A representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will present specially-designed Silver Slugger trophies to the players elected in ceremonies early in the 2008 season. The three-foot trophies bear the engraved names of the recipients and the other Silver Slugger honorees in his league.
The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by H&B in 1980 as an extension of the Silver Bat Award, which is, as its name indicates, a silver-plated bat presented by Louisville Slugger to the batting champions in each league. The 2007 Silver Bats are to be presented to Matt Holliday of the Rockies and Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers, who led their respective leagues with .340 and .363 averages.